3rd Philosophy Guild Meeting Feb 26, 2020 at 8pm Hackatorium


In this upcoming Philosophy Guild, we will continue to explore metamodernism, postmodernism, and rationalism through the lens of the American election cycle.



  • Any texts (books, articles, videos, podcasts, etc) you are working with right now.
  • Finger foods to share.
  • Wine, whiskey, or absinthe + spoons

We’ll situate you there/then!


  • Noisebridge can be found at 2169 Mission St on the 3rd floor. You’re going to ring the doorbell and wait to be buzzed in. Read the “Getting In” page on our wiki for more details.

  • Feel free to make yourself an account on this site! Our online spaces are considered an extension of our in-person space. Use these spaces to express yourself, and Be Excellent to Each Other while you’re at it.

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Looking forward to sitting around, sipping whiskey, and chortling.

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Snack suggestions:

  • chips + dip
  • cheese
  • wine
  • fruit
  • La Croix
  • cake
  • crackers
  • cookies
  • tiny meats
  • something unusual

This meeting was SO GOOD! We had 18 people show up. This time we took notes and did Noisebridge-style moderation in order to keep conversation flowing. Here are the NOTES:

Naomi Most — she/her — I create groups like this in order to have better conversations.

Chris — he/him — background in Philosophy, planning my return to academia. NB been hanging out in the music area. Studied Foucault.

Anthony — I was hanging out at NB but this came up on the discuss forum, and I came to the first one.

Jote — they/them — community org, circling, Transformative Justice and system change. Heard of Hanzi and listened to the podcast.

Adithya — he/him — read Listening Society it was good shit! I have a techie side, a spritual side, embodied activism. Looking fwd to seeing what this produces in the world

Tom — he/him — 20 yrs ago —> Integral, SD. Enjoyed the Hanzi character’s blog posts and how they expanded upon Integral. FB friends w/ Hanzi. Msged to ask if there are meetups. Found out about NB.

Jade — she/her/they/them — usually here on Wednesdays. Took 3 philosophy classes in college. Yay existentialism! Studied psych and computer science.

Brett — he/him — interested in Metamodernism, Alex turned me on to Listening Society. Friend suggested it.

Aurora — she/her — Naomi told me about the book, blazed thru Listening Soc and started Nordic.

Henry — he/him — Naomi got me into SD about 2-3 years ago, collaboration on that. Shared frustrations on limitations of SD community. Just started reading Listening Society.

Steve — he/him — interested in Philosophy, got PhD in theoretical physics, high on Rationality. Seth Abramson got me into metamodernism via talking about “wtf Trump is doing”. Interested in mysticism, but not very practiced, I have read more than meditated. Theravada practices.

Joshin — he/him — mediated more than I’ve read. Several years at a monastic community in Vermont described as “meta modern” by its membership. Started up the next chapter of this in the Bay Area.

Sage — she/her — recovering scientist. Only took 1 philosophy class in college. Here b/c Alex is here, I’m new to the Bay and looking to meet people. BDSM and sacred sexuality.

Alex — he/him — read Listening Society and liked it. Makes sense to me to have a new system in society where human development is priority. I’ve been looking for a way to conceptualize politics — decisionmaking as relates to complexity.

Lydia — — just launched new Modality magazine. Exploring the Meaning of life. Metamodernism seems to be capturing the same trends as our magazine.

Jonathan — he/him — Fascinated by this b/c I’ve long understood that there’s something missing from the systemic rationalist worldview. Used to be my job to teach ppl what that IS. Answer is not to become anti-rational.

David — he/him — I’m tired. Came b/c Lydia said it would be cool. What’s the optimal way to do relationship, think strategically and powerful about them. Curious to listen and learn about this discourse

Andy — he I guess — Here for the first time to Phil Guild as a fly on the wall.

Henry — I want to talk about the base of postmodernism and why we need to build on it with metamodernism. (Steve jazz hands.).

Aurora — jazzed to share these concepts w/ my friends. How can I share these things with friends?

Brett — any work ppl are doing to introduce these concepts pragmatically. Oppty’s

— is this a movement? Is there an us? Does this demand something morally?


  • Brett: hold the perspective that includes all perspectives. Crosses a political or personal.

  • Steve: like the SD thing, if metamodernism is Yellow, how can there be more stuff?

  • Henry: yeah I’d say yellow (Tom agrees). So if the SD theory keeps going on up, does metamodernism

  • Tom: I thought in the book metamodernism is three things, and he switches among the contexts — art historians, developmental stage, could be defined as an era or a stage of culture — collective metamodernism. He’s careful to say meta modern hierarchy is not domination hierarchy. Postmodernism becomes aperspectival; metamodernism transcends-and-includes by addressing a developmental hierarchy. More complex stages are built upon previous stages. Hierarchy re-emerges at each level. Daniel Thorson emerge podcast talking to Hanzi.

  • Steve: I heard about metamodernism from Abramson. Ppl don’t understand the restructuring of the interactions that are happening via the internet etc. What are the recent developments that go into defin

  • Jonathan: haven’t read the book, lots of Ideas I have encountered via David Chapman. Sounds like a bunch of ways you can arrive at these conclusions.

  • Aurora: I like to share that it’s a frame for meaning-making for values — integrates knowledge & insights from modernism and postmodernism. Lots of embodied practices from hippies and whatnot for living good lives. Integrating rationalism for health and literacy. Metamodern policy prescription: what would life be like if you had 10 years of meditation training as part of your schooling? What if you and everyone around you knew how to keep healthy and do NVC? Noticing that these things would benefit society. Communicating

  • Jade: I liked the description of it coming from zero information — Tom. How linear is this new tier?

  • Anthony: it’s a spiral! Haha

  • Jade: WHEN is this philosophy?

  • Lots of people: It’s now!

  • Naomi: I watched people get bullied out of Noisebridge by supposed woke folks. It’s personal for me.

  • Henry: I feel like it’s more about a productive tension between rationality and postmodernism, but we do need to DO something. I see this in the art scene — irony and detached humor, but this deeply sincere vulnerable space that we get via humor and irony to give us safe distance to go deep.

  • Joshin — don’t want to derail but I know there was evidence in the Nordic countries, I wonder what the Listening Society has to say about spiritual education on a massive scale to build out social and gov’t infrastructure. Tomas Bjormann has a book and he goes into it.

  • Brett — he gets into it!

  • Adithya — definitely, Hanzi is making conscious ties to what feels like everybody. What metamodernism IS but more in “how we explain it” — working in racial justice, social justice, definitely aware of the problems, people are more aware all the time. Using the master’s tools to keep people oppressed, turning identity politics on people to take power without making any progress.

  • Alex — It feels clear to me there is modern and postmodern ways of thinking, but in conversations I wonder if I have a good handle in what’s entailed in those. Like if there is a “safe space” then what IS that?

  • David Jay — As someone who read the book - the role of positionality, the answer to how does postmodernism not just throw you into anomie… From my POSITION I can come to a sense of who and where I am based on growing those concepts within myself. And I can grow that for other perspectives. Curious for how my escape from the

  • Joshin — In talking about… I feel like we have reached similar problems and we start from the issues in the world. Current formulation: the world is currently in crisis. Basically 2 crises — ppl don’t have meaning in their lives or believe what they’ve been handed down. Ecological crises: the systems we rely on are falling apart. Metamodernism as an attempt to

  • Tom — I wanted to talk about Jade’s question — is it reductionist or is there a single hierarchy. Hanzi does 5 dimensions — effective value meme, emotional depth, emotional state, mental development, and cultural code. Do you have a shared common language. You can be at a high level of development but you need others at that level to ACT at that level. Other insight: deconstruction/reconstruction dynamic. When people are about to transition, things get rocky. Most people deconstruct/reconstruct at the same level. How do we ensure forward momentum instead of postmodern trap of constant deconstruction.

  • Jonathan — Seems to me that meaning or lack thereof is of central importance here. The idea of spiritual as meaningful. It seems ppl do poorly w/o meaning. [laughter] I see this tension btw coming up with new stories and just learning to be ok with the ground constantly shifting.

  • Jote — he said metamodernism is “cut to the bone rationalism and trembling spiritually” — to experience expansive states and also be reductionist about it. AGILITY. Agility of state change. Being able to switch between the lenses and do it constantly. I think about emergence and emergent learning. Ppl who are metamodernist are going to learn a million things all the time. Speaks to me about puzzling together truly novel things all the time. Knowing the stories of each of the developmental stages, and understanding how to pt people towards a common goal. Knowledge of the past is one of the educations ppl need to have, and moving thru the various stages. If ppl don’t have a depth of love, even if ideological parts are online, but if the depth of experience in love is not there, I wondered how TRUST would really work. Love can inspire ppl to do things they’re not “developmentally” ready to do.

  • Lydia — pulling back from this whole complex of ideas (culture, my magazine, etc) it looks to me like we’re all trying to integrate a LOT of epistemological approaches. Maybe this is provocative but it seems clear that classic scientific materialism fails as “the only way to make meaning”. So the project here is integrating different lenses (as Tom spoke to). Getting ppl to use more lenses. I just skimmed a chapter of the Listening Society. His sense of what spiritual states are, they are primarily good b/c they feel good and we want them b/c we want as many ppl to feel good as possible. He doesn’t seem to see any purposes for it other than that.

  • Naomi: listen to the podcast, maybe you will have a diff’t perspective.

  • Joshin: someone said isn’t the point of your practice to feel good? No, it is to solve EVERY THING. If it has no impact on the world, there is no point.

  • Brett: The more negative states you have experienced and integrated, the more you can relate to others.

  • Aurora: Some controversial bits I want to introduce from the Nordic Society: “denying the games that ppl play”. Polite and consensus reality to deny that ppl are playing the games they do, which benefits elites and insiders. Ppl are highly variable in terms of what states they’ve experienced (code, spirituality, values). Impolite and difficult to talk about people being different in ways that won’t freak out traditionalists or postmodernists. Also there is a postmodernist ask of men to not-embody traditional masculine behaviors; as long as there are traits that are rewarded in the marketplace, there is a tension between the traditional and the postmodern.

  • Tom: On metamoderna.org he turned those game-related chapters into blog posts.

  • Jote: When he talks about spiritual or expansive states, in the podcast he sounded like he was curious what could be learned from them that had applicability to daily life. Curiosity there that shouldn’t be ignored as a way of knowing. Nonlinear.

  • Joshin: Come to my events!

  • Alex: The talk about spirituality reminds of a FB post of Hanzi’s where on a subjective level there is all this phenomena, there is collective sense-making of objective reality. Possible to have these expansive states — suffering, resolution — I asked so what would be the religion relevant to this. He had some response that the religion should be able to decapitate itself. I guess I want to see some art piece that speaks to that.

  • Joshin: REAL spirituality are not really about feeling good. This is counterproductive.

  • Anthony: Robert Anton Wilson had Discordianism. “Spectacles, testicles,

  • Henry:

[Naomi starts getting very tired of doing both the note-taking and the moderating, asks for someone else to moderate. Henry volunteers.]


  • Henry: where we are w/ postmodernism. Green: rejection by rationalists like Jim Rutt. Association w/ left liberal values. I don’t think anything that’s supposed to be an effective value meme should be as content-oriented.

  • Naomi: here’s Spiral Dynamics in 60 seconds.

  • Henry: yeah. It’s an anti-hierarchical system. Postmodernism, multiple sources of truth, you don’t pick between them. But looking at what’s going on with politics: how does it show up in conservatives. Trump phenomenon: that is deconstructing the system of sense-making. You choose your truth by picking your source of “Facts”. Truth is no longer a thing we all point to. So where are we right now: this all sucks, I’m done, tear it down. And we’re seeing it both progressive and conservative sides.

  • Adithya: blog post where Hanzi says the alt-right is postmodern. Its a bid for a new kind of power. What are the progressive using? ID politics. What is the alt-right doing? ID politics! B/c of the truthiness of postmodernism

  • Jonathan: Postmodernism = suspicion of metanarratives. An overarching system that gives meaning to everything in the world.

  • Brett: Metamodernism might be a democratization of metanarrative.

  • Group: DAYUM

  • Lydia: About echo chambers online: I did an ENORMOUS amount of research. Wanted to note that the hypothesis that echo chambers exist is extremely unsupported and refuted by most experts.


  • Aurora: democratization of the metanarrative: Hanzi says this sense of loving acceptance and gentleness of where ppl are at and the lives they wanted to live. Aligned with my own values. I’m not a cultural relativist and it’s good to say not everything goes. But our tolerances could actually be broader.

  • Tom: One that came up in the Jim Rutt interview, he talks about if you’re developed on the analytical side and your emotional depth and state are low, you deconstruct people out of their happiness, sort of resentful all the time. If your development is out of balance you have certain emergent effects. It’s important to be understanding of where people are at.

  • David Jay: Struggling to find the applicability of this for ways that may be me being totally behind… When we talk about dev. Hierarchies, like are certain ppl OK or not ok? At the end of the day I just need to relate to them. Having a hard time engaging with the narrative

  • Naomi: yeah the idea is that it is OUR JOB to meet people where they are at. That was to me the promise of Spiral Dynamics, and it is the reason why I have formed this group and also similar groups. It is not for us to somehow “raise people up” to be metamodern, as that would not be rational or possible or even desirable. The idea is that WE finds ways to interact with people and to create


  • Adithya: It’s troubling and exciting to be asked to face our power, agency, etc. Seductive to be metamoderb. But it solves a lot of problems. Trying to be an activist in a postmodern world and getting frustrated with the way we are hurting each other. So I Feel ACTIVATED and ready to see eye-to-eye with a lot of people I don’t currently see eye-to-eye with. Invigorating!

  • Henry: One thing that has come up as I’ve started to learn more about metamodernity, not tied to any one person, but YANG’s candidacy touched on various things like UBI. The way he has this amusing persona, he uses humor to connect w/ people authentically in a different way. Like when he’s spraying whipped cream in someone’s mouth [Naomi: note to self, look for his on Youtube] — he pulled in people all over the map. Former Trump voters, Democrats,etc. There are movements starting. James Feldman-Kief (?) in NY. Yang went out and LISTENED, not just the ones that Dems went to but also Repubs. He talks about the suicide epidemic among young white men, not something others are talking about. He seems to have carefully looked for things that step out of the traditional left/right slider talking points. I think that’s a STARTING POINT for an “us” in the United States.

  • Brett: Do we have a responsibility now? In the 2nd book he talks about how life IS the will to power, and when it is apparently denied like with identity politics it is usually a new way to power. Like using Safe Spaces to dominate a narrative. After having Rea that section, if I don’t OWN my Will to Power that’s going to come out sideways. I can’t pretend any movement arising now is not trying to gain some sense of power. And we need to be self-aware about it. Part of the irony is to recognize that when you are effecting some change you are causing an oppression of some form (probably). Rick and Morty ep1 s4 — the hornet dimension. He asked the hornets why they are so nice and they say “we torture our prey for hours to eat it, it’s worth being nice in other ways."

  • Tom: Structure and agency and the dance between them. The left often favors structure — why are ppl poor, b/c they’re oppressed, etc. The Right tends to favor agency, discipline, etc. Is there a way to understand both? Cognitive complexity. Can you understand complex causation and that it is complicated. Agentic and Structural explanations in isolation don’t really work. “You just watch Fox News because of structural reasons. All of my media choices are entirely rational.” Metamodernism gets you a politics where motivations are complex, and reasons are complex. The monotone explanations that “explain everyone” become evidently wrong. It’s inspiring and also paralyzing. We’re understanding more about the built environment and how this affects people as part of my nonprofit. So if you understand these things “why not just do these things,” comes the question. If you grok all these insights you could liberate humanity or you could totally enslave them. Once

  • Anthony: Aquinas: torture ppl if they’re sinning so they won’t go to hell!

  • Henry: The inevitability of harming people, am I oppressing someone right now? This is something I struggled w/ reading social justice things like “you will always be hurting any group that isn’t you!” Something that pushed me into philosophy is trying to work out a way where you can flip the framing from the negative to the positive.

  • Brett: I think it ties into the “life is suffering"

  • Jote: Just thinking, what do I feel obligated to do after this? I listened to the podcast and talked to Aditya some. What is the MATH he’s talking about? What is the CODE? What’s his plan? Cuz it seems like the thing is finding the focal point and the direction that most people want to go in, and GO. I was thinking about emergent, holism, etc, and disparate parts that don’t seem to go together and putting them together, and allowing something to emerge from those things. Thinking about that internally and externally — making myself vulnerable to the change.

  • Aurora: if we as a society prioritized feeding the world and keeping people healthy, we could do that. We choose not to. We could, and we prioritize other things instead. There are lots of different explanations we can apply to that, but given we live in a post-scarcity context we should probably stop punishing the monkeys and trying to get them to do things via sticks. But also maybe UBI contributes to isolation and depression cycles. If our material abundance continues, it will either be Make Work to capitulate to Protestant work ethic, or maybe we’ll fall into scarcity via climate change or epidemics, or maybe we can figure out how to figure out how to make ppl’s life more meaningful in a context of abundance. It’s not a choice between everyone having meaningful

  • Adithya: The ways I have seen this tangibility (where we started) are bizarre. There’s a group here called Yet to Be Named Network, small groups focused on postmodern goals. The point is small groups doing transformational development work. I think it is bizarre and meant to be bizarre. It’s the terror of facing our own power.

  • Tom: the alternative party they organize around 3 problems: inequality, ecological criss, and alienation. These are the questions we need to answer.r. Hanzi talks about

  • Naomi: WHAT SHOULD WE DO — Restorative Communication — Ryan at GKI has come to NB. And we are at the Vanguard here.

  • JOSHIN: it is super after 10pm

  • Tom: Frederique Laloux — holarchy, Teal, taking metamodernish ideas and putting them into practice in corporate environments.

  • Andy: About how the right sees more about Agency — there’s a hispanic writer and vocalist, his words were "

  • Aditya: one possible thing could be to adopt a PRACTICE, like take a perspective you’ve never taken before. I want to honor that most people I’ve shared this w/ are very closed to this. We can attend to the fact that we have this way of seeing things.


  • Brett: best way is to demonstrate it. Finding the truth in anything anyone is saying. There’s a whole lot of human intelligence processing info that is not the conclusion I came to. So recognizing that value, sometimes people do the same in reverse.
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